‘I won’t be needing it yet’ she said! When is the right time for a parent or caregiver to acquire the necessary skill sets to assist in their parenting journey?
Once upon a glorious morning in June 2018, I was out leafleting in a local school. I gave one of our community events leaflet(30 June is the date, grab your tickets fast!) to a mother. She quizzed me about the event and the lawyer in me spoke confidently promoting not just the event but our honourable speakers and event planners.
The mother then responded ‘ what an awesome initiative and very well needed, however my son is two so I won’t be needing it yet.’ She returned the leaflet and left swiftly. I felt the urge to run after her as I desperately wanted to continue the conversation. As difficult as it was, I managed to pause, exercised self control and continued with the task at hand.
I thanked my lucky stars for not pushing ahead with my initial thoughts as the last thing I wanted was to find myself in front of a judge as a perpetrator of anti-social behaviour by harassing a mother whose comments I found unappealing.
Onwards to the East I headed armed with the leaflets in search of those that will grant me a minute of their time to listen to what I had to say whilst happily accepting a leaflet.
Unappealing, unacceptable, who are you to judge this innocent woman, madam Elsie? She is entitled to her opinion, why was it an issue for you, I hear you ask?
Well, just like her, I am equally entitled to my opinion. I am not judging her, exactly, who am I to judge? It was a case of her response not sitting well with me. Why you may wonder? Let me ask you a few questions.
Do you wait until you are married before you attend a marriage course?
Do you wait for a Doctor to tell you that you are overweight before you do something about your health?
Do you wait for a tooth ache before visiting a dentist?
Do you wait until your child starts school before you start reading to him/her?
One of the reasons why I am extremely passionate about helping parents and caregivers is due to my personal experience. Yes, I have been in the legal profession for so long in addition to working in various other roles. I have been privileged to work with people from all walks of life. Many parents and caregivers have approached me for help with raising their young ones. I am human, I don’t have all the answers, I am not perfect but what I can boldly say is that you do better when armed with knowledge and repository skill sets.
Many parents and caregivers sadly do not know what their children are up to until it is too late. Many only find out when there is a knock on the door by the police or a professional requesting to speak about a particular child’s behaviour. Sometimes, it is a dreadful phone call, e-mail or letter from school about a child’s behaviour, the list is endless.
Please, please, please, do not get it twisted, prayer works indeed but you also need to do your part as a parent. In fact as a prayerful family you find yourselves often facing challenges. Do you give up? Certainly not, you continue praying and also arm yourself with the necessary tools to enable you to become a better parent.
Parenting has no age limit. Grandparents can still add to their knowledge particularly as times have changed.
You do not need to wait until your children are in their pre-teens or teen years to acquire the necessary skill sets. There is no better time than the present! Don’t forget to invest in continuing professional/personal development. Self development is important as it helps in all areas not just parenting
In the words of my esteemed coach , Mr Adeh Jones ‘Real growth and lasting stretching ensues BEFORE not BECAUSE of a challenge.’
Be deliberate, intentional, open minded and ready to absorb knowledge if you truly wish to be an awesome parent.
Do not wait until you think you will be needing it, be proactive, take the necessary steps, MAKE A START now and you won’t regret it.